How to play, noob…

Reply on Dear Gnome on LJ, for future reference and tweaking.

This is a confidence building exercise for you. All you can do is be the best player you can be given gear, practice, skill, opportunities, and luck. You don’t need to be at the top of the pack, but when playing, you do need a realistic view of your abilities. You have to know what it is that you are bringing to dungeon groups.

You want to know your numbers. Whatever class you play, you can measure your performance using an add-on called recount. It’ll give you numbers for damage per second, overall damage done by all party members, or if you heal, healing per second. If you’re tanking, it’s less useful because lots of tanking skills can’t really be expressed in numbers. You need to measure yourself in dungeons, though, because out in the world, you don’t get everybody’s help and buffs. You can expect somewhat better numbers in a dungeon group than you get outside.

You want not to do stupid things. If you’re new to this dungeon lark, it is perfectly alright to do stupid things now and then, and don’t let anyone tell you any different. WoW is not an easy game. Everybody needs to learn. Just try not to do the same stupid thing too many times in a row. Look at your feet and get out of the fire.. Stay behind the tank until the tank attacks. Keep an eye on the threat you are generating and back off as appropriate. Run away at the right times.

You want some idea of what you’re in for. Every dungeon has its own little quirks and dances. Now you can find a lot of information about these dungeons online, but there is really no substitute for being in there, in the heat of the fight. For instance (haha), there is a boss who is invulnerable to all attacks until the tank drags him through a pillar of fire, and his armor melts. Hitting him before that is no use, and you’re better off waiting a bit. With Cataclysm, dungeons have become more complicated and interesting – no more simply rushing in and beating stuff up. There’s stuff you need to do like snare and trap that enemy, or it’ll heal all the others, or when someone gets trapped in chains, get them out quickly or they’ll die to the big blast. You need to know that sort of thing to complete the dungeon.

Now if you do all those things, consistent with the amount of time you’re willing to invest in this game, then you are doing what you should be doing, and you have nothing to be ashamed of.

Having said that, sadly, not everybody plays nice as you found out. There’s people who get extremely impatient with new players, expecting them somehow to be born with all the knowledge and the best gear available. There’s also the people who hide their own inability by blaming others. Ignore the fuckers. They have nothing for you to learn. The next group will be better.

There’s also those who will swear and yell at you or the world in general. Racist, sexist, what-have-you. That is not allowed in this game. If they keep harassing you, it’s time to hit that question mark, and put in a Game Master (GM) ticket. No need to screenshot. Just note the time, their names if you remember them (Recount helps here, too), what they said to you and why you think it’s inappropriate. They will get black marks on their names. Whatever you do, don’t start screaming back, because (a) it’s undignified, and (b) you might get warnings. Don’t expect the bastards to be yanked from the game immediately, as 24-hour, 72-hour or permanent bans are considered punishment for serious misbehaviour, like making real-life death threats, and the like. I’m also not a big fan of reporting people simply for being arseholes, but if they make you feel uncomfortable, or gravely insult you: Report. A Game Master will have a word with them.

Most important of all: Don’t let them drive you away. What you read here is by no means the standard. WoW is full of awesome and nice people, it’s just that the arseholes and jerks cause more noise. You sound like a nice person, and we need more people like you.

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